Skip to main content

Antigone

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
3 stars
It may have taken a while for Lung Ha’s Theatre Company to get to the 
Greeks, but now they’re on it, it looks like near perfect if overdue 
match. Adrian Osmond’s faithful new take on Sophocles’ tragedy of one 
young woman’s willingness to die for a cause in the face of misguided 
power similarly takes advantage of the play’s choral structure to 
include some twenty-five performers with learning disabilities into the 
play’s complex web of political and inter-personal constructs without 
ever looking forced.

A wonderful addition here too is the presence of five members of the 
National Youth Orchestras of Scotland Futures programme, who play 
Kenneth Dempster’s live score for flute, French horn, clarinet, violin 
and viola with a dextrous urgency that adds much to the drama.
Spread out on Becky Minto’s monumental-looking set and dressed in 
utilitarian basics that hints at some kind of enforced collectivism, 
the cast strike heightened poses in the face of Creon’s authority, even 
as he’s shunned by the nation he claims to be acting for. Maria Oller’s 
production retains this sense of stylised classicism throughout, with 
the music at times driving the action.

At the heart of all this is Nicola Tuxworth’s Antigone, an already 
feisty and fearless heroine played with similar courage and pluck. 
Without ever over-egging any modern-day acts of defiance, as the 
curtains that mask assorted atrocities morph into angel wings for 
Antigone as her fate is sealed, it is plain that Tuxworth’s 
trouble-maker is one of the ninety-nine per cent who could have stepped 
straight from the Occupy movement to stand up for something the Creons 
of this world only see when it’s too late.

The Herald, March 20th 2012

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…